May 16, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorJACKSON -- Goalkeeper Ashlynn Schamber saved three shootout kicks Thursday for the Lander Valley High School Tigers, and her teammates blasted three dramatic kicks into the net for an official 1-0 victory over Worland in the opening round of the Class 3-A state soccer tournament in Jackson.
The two squads were scoreless after 80 minutes of regulation play. Worland and LVHS then went scoreless for two 10-minute periods, setting up the shootout. LVHS won 3-0 in the shootout kicks.
Schamber, playing in first state tournament match of her career, came up with three big-time saves to keep a dream of a state title alive for the Tigers.
"Going into the shootouts is like a worst nightmare if you are the goalie," Schamber said. "When I get in there I just have to step it up and play it for my team because they play for me every day ."
Schamber stepped up her game by stopping two balls that came right at her. One of the Worland kicks missed the net.
"I usually do well in the corners during the match," Schamber said. "I just watch the ball and hope that I'm right. My nerves were part of it. I just dove for the ball. I was very excited after the game. I had tears in my eyes. I was so happy. For my first state tournament, I never expected to be in a shootout."
LVHS players Aspen Heming-way, Alicia Espinosa and Rachael Troxel all came through in the clutch on the shootout kicks. Espinosa and Hemingway are seniors. Troxel is a freshman.
"We had some seniors that had been playing, and we practiced the penalty kicks all week," LVHS coach Dean Schaff said. "I tried to put some pressure on them in practice. I really didn't put a lot of thought into the order.
"They were a little scared, but at the same time we were a little better than Worland. We were more comfortable with a shootout than Worland was. When you get in that situation, that makes a big difference."
In the two extra periods, the Tigers controlled the pace of the game, forcing Worland to play on its heels.
In the first overtime, LVHS had a couple of excellent chances to score on corner kicks, but couldn't avoid the shootout.
"We came out where we would play awesome and then let up," Schaff said. "Worland had a few good chances. We need to avoid that against Star Valley on Friday."
LVHS plays at 2 p.m. Friday against Star Valley for a trip to play in the Class 3-A state championship match. The two teams didn't play in the regular season.
Star Valley edged Cody 3-2 in an opening round game.
Lander entered the tournament as one of the No. 1 seeds in the field after going 10-3-1 in the regular season.
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